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Topic: Going Against The Grain Of Churches. (How to avoid)
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 27, 2013 07:20PM)
I have often pondered the possibility of putting together a Gospel magic show, but I have been hesitant because having been in a few churches in my life, I know how these minds think.

I suppose my hesitation has been because I feel it is impossible to put together
a show that will please the myriad of denominations that are out there. Surely, no matter how you try, there are going to be people offended because some detail of what you do or say will go against the grain of their specific doctrines. How can this be overcome?

I hope I'm wrong and that some of you can set me straight on this.

Daff
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 27, 2013 07:49PM)
Find the common denominator. Don't try to proselytize. Your main focus should be to entertain while presenting the Good News. If you are in a church performing for Christians, it's a safe bet they will all have heard the message. Your job is simply to make that message entertaining. Otherwise, why would they hire an entertainer. Keep the message simple but straight forward.
Message: Posted by: ChrisG (May 27, 2013 08:38PM)
I would ask is this program be a job or a ministry? If this is ministry I would suggest that you put together a program that fits with your church beliefs and book a few shows. Once you work that out you will find using bible stories and scripture there will be little problem going from one denomination to another. Respect is the key.

I would stay away from the churches whose teachings are so different from yours that you struggle with "will I offend". There are plenty of children's books out there that are used by all Christian denominations to base your patter on. Even when I do programs for adults I use basic children's stories. Also 80% of my program has no christian teaching, just good family fun.

Hope that helps

Chris
Message: Posted by: DougTait (May 27, 2013 09:09PM)
Daff;
If you are a committed Christian who a personal relationship with Christ, a Gospel magic program that simply illustrates the truth of scripture will transcend most denominations. If a church group shows interest in having a magician perform for them, it indicates that they will accept the presentation of magic.

You seem to be painting all churches with a very broad brush ["I know how these minds think"] which is very unfair. I don't know how to take your comment that you have been in a few churches in you life literaly or not.

Please don't take offense, but if your desire is to increase your target audience by including churches but don't have the calling to spread the Gospel - Do Not attempt this. You will most likely fail. Your skill with manipulation of effects may be perfect, but if your message does not come form a Christ-committed heart, I can guarantee you will be seen as disengenuous and most importantly, you will be doing a terrible disservice to you audience and to the Author of the book.

I have seen a few non-committed magicians attempt this and it was very ugly for all concerned and also puts Gospel Magicians in a very bad light.

That's my advice, for what it's worth. If I have misjudged you motivation - disregard all above :)

Best wishes,

(Not too daffy) Doug
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 27, 2013 10:22PM)
Actually, I appreciate the advice (any and all)

When I say I've been in several churches, I am not exagerating. Everything from Baptist to Catholic, to  Lutheran, Presbetarian, Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Church of Christ and more.  In other words, through the decades, I've been around.

When I say I have considered putting together a Gospel presentation, I'm saying I've had the idea for a loooooong time. 

The problem is that my experience around performing magic around churches (casual performances of things such as sponge balls, ropes, etc) has been the experience of being  judged, condemned for the use of EVIL magic, which they have likened to witch craft and devil posession. 

I can't explain to you how an innocent sponge ball routine or something equally inocuous (Proffesors nightmare) can be construed as witchcraft or occult, but you need to take my word for it, I've experienced it.

Or the time I used the needle through the balloon routine to illustrate my testimony, and they rose up and just about tossed me out of the church.

Or the time I was in the grocery store purchasing a deck of cards, and some people from
the church were there and saw me and said (loud enough for the whole store to hear) "Oh brother! You shouldn't be buying those brother!! Those are the devils tools!"

Or the one couple from a church I was attending who found out I performed magic and called me into their home to excoriate me and tell me " Brother, you need to give up this magic stuff! It's evil! We saw a demon sitting on your shoulder as you were walking down the street!"

Or the one church that started a bonfire and burned my magic books and effects.

I'm telling you, I've been through the mill. And what I've shared here is only the beginning. I've had many of these negative experiences around religious folk, so when I say I know how they think, I'm talking from personal experience.

But I've still not given up the idea of performing a gospel show. 

Four the past several weeks, I've been attending a new church where I believe the Lord has lead me. And I seem to be pretty well accepted. But I haven't yet told them that I am a magician. (Or illusionist to soften the blow) 

You see, I don't quite know HOW to tell them, after all I've experienced in the past. I'm almost afraid of the condemnation or rejection that will follow. But on the other hand, I don't know if I can keep it a secret forever.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 28, 2013 08:03AM)
I hear ya Daff'!

Been there, done that and got the T-shirt myself! I will probably never do Gospel magic again! I also have belonged to just about every denomination from Baptist to Catholic, to Lutheran, Presbyterian, First Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon...every one of them is flawed. Hey, that's expected...we're human. I know enough now, not to do magic for most of them.

I got a REAL bad taste in my mouth for religion. Yeah, I've gone through the "saved" experience, and I've also had some really bizarre experiences I won't relate here. I don't do "church". I find it unecessary and distracting. I know a lot of people who go because "they [i]have[/i] to". They sit there and roll their eyes and can't wait for it to end. That's my experience.

And Daff', it's not just religious people...there are some that just plain flat out think magic is evil! They are really afraid of it! They can bring your show to a QUICK end! But yeah, this fanatical religious nonsense really torks me. A lot of these holy rollers don't even know The Truth! They're too busy sending you to Hell! Those are the ones you really have to be careful about.

Doug
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (May 28, 2013 08:35AM)
You know I was not going to comment but I read these types of post far to often and truthfully I am completely confused by them!

I have performed in every type of church you can imagine. I have performed my illusion show in the
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in philly!!! as well as other catholic churches, baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, non denominational, assembly of God, and even Mennonite churches. Heck I just performed and preached the same day at a Mennonite church 2 weeks ago! I have performed for Jewish organizations both Jews for Jesus and non christian Jews from Orthodox to Lubovitch!

so what does that all mean!? it means the first thing I did before I started any ministry work was to seek God and find out where HE wants me to go.
problem solved!

look there are indeed people out there that will question whether you are using satanic powers to accomplish your tricks but that is just an opportunity to witness to them and unleash the truth of Gods love with them.
scripture tells us that we will be persecuted for the simple fact that we are spreading the good news. regardless whether it is thru magic or just preaching. But James tells us to "count it as PURE joy" when we face these trials and tribulations.

I do both. I preach in many churches as well as present my shows. some times its a family night some times it is an outreach program.

the sad reality is that there are too many Christians that are lost! we have lost the real meaning of having a relationship with God thru Jesus and the Holy Spirit. we are to quick to judge others. we are too worried about being judged.

how is it that I could have worked in all those situations and yet no one ever stoned me. its because I put God first and let the Holy spirit lead.
DO NOT TAKE THAT AS I AM SOME KIND OF SPECIAL GODLY SERVANT I do not mean that I am holier then thou. I am stating that the fact is I went to God and I let the Holy Spirit lead and when you do that you don't have to worry about the road He leads you down. He has a purpose for you and where He leads us is where He wants us. we just have to be willing to go there.

so the first thing I think you should do is if you are indeed a believer then go into you bedroom your living room somewhere where you can be alone and quiet and get on you hands and knees and seek the Lord. (and I actually mean physically getting on your knees! ASK HIM. where you should go. who you should pitch the show too. are you even supposed to have this show?

the Sheep will know the shepherds voice! Ask and it shall be given, knock and the door shall be open.

God is waiting for you to come to Him and seek Him for the answers you desire.

also keep in mind
Andre Kole
Harris the III
and many others besides myself an them perform regularly in churches all across the country and around the Globe.

praying for you my friend.

sam
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 28, 2013 08:44AM)
Most of the "magic is evil" nonsense comes as a knee-jerk reaction based in ignorance ( I KNOW I'm gonna get flamed now!). There are a few "out there" denominations that magic, music, theatre, make-up AND thinking any differently will all get you condemned to hell...all while the pastor is fat (read: gluttonous). This is NOT a slam against fat people...but rather a way to make a point about hypocrisy. I'M going to hell because I perform magic, while HE isn't...even though he is involved with one of the "seven deadly sins". Hmmmmm.

That being said...I am NOT against organized religion. In fact, I am a zealous and committed member of (probably) one of the world's MOST organized religion: The Roman Catholic Church. I have NEVER been condemned by ANYONE in the Catholic Church for what I do. In fact, I perform at LEAST two shows per year for my local parish (including one this coming weekend for a four-parish dinner celebration). I have performed in the presence of the Bishop...and even used him as the "target" in one of my "sucker tricks".

I can say the same of almost ANY denomination I have ever been involved in. I have been many things over the decades...easiest now just to call myself a CatholiChariBaptiCostal. I have performed for Baptists, Brethren-In-Christ, Catholic, and a whole host of other denominations at official Church functions.

Only ONCE was I condemned by a Church for being involved with the Magical Performing Arts. I will not mention the denomination here because I do not want to start a flame war.

My philosophy for performing magic in Churches is fairly simple: I provide family-friendly entertainment WITHOUT an overtly religious theme. Even though I AM a preacher, and an ordained minister, I feel that it is NOT my ministry to preach in this sort of setting. That's what they pay their pastor for. I will at times throughout my show use and effect to illustrate a Christian Truth (such as the Professor's Nightmare to illustrate how, though we are all different, God sees us as equal in His eyes), I do not get overtly "preachy"...that's NOT what an audience is looking for.

My opinion, and ONLY my opinion...but it seems to work for me.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 28, 2013 08:47AM)
Man, it's great to get feedback that let's me know I'm not alone and not just imagining it.

Oh, I still go to church. I've found, or more accurately,the Lord LEAD me to a church in town, here, where I'm pretty at peace, so far.  BUT (and this is the biggie) I haven't yet revealed to them that I do magic. I've kept it under wraps so far, intentionally, because of reasons I mentioned.

When they find out, that will be the real test to determine whether I am to be, or not to be, to quote the Bard.

There have been times in the past when I merely MENTION the word "magic" and it's like I touched someone with an electric cattle prod!
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 28, 2013 08:52AM)
Just because someone is fat doesn't mean they are a glutton. I mention that because you stated fat people and linked them to one of the seven deadly sins. Just thought iI would correct you by saying being fat is not a sin, nor is it a sign that someone is. :)
Message: Posted by: Stephon Johnson (May 28, 2013 11:42AM)
I find that the only "safe" biblical presentation is to use magic to illustrate a "parable". Basically using the scripture as the patter, and letting the effect mesh with the story simply as a visual. With parables, the Holy Spirit will prick the heart and consciences of those He draws to Himself, and the others will hear a nice story. Exactly the way parables have always been used.
If I am going to present something evangelistic in nature, I would do that as an open air performance and hand out tracts afterward. A good street witnessing trick is to make up 3D cash or Extreme burn to finish up with Million Dollar Bill tracts and give them away. PM me if interested in the patter for that.
I would either do as Mike mentioned and stick to "good family show" or just outline in your sales flyer what doctrines you will represent in your show (Trinity, Salvation by Grace Alone, Predestination etc...). What I could NOT live with, is doing a "watered down" fuzzy gospel show that doesn't present clear Theology and Doctrine, but just a "God loves You" universalism theme. Go True to your beliefs or go "non gospel", Hot or Cold. If it is "lukewarm" I will spew it out of my routine. Blessings!
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 28, 2013 12:41PM)
Agreed, Danny. But I have been at a few too many church potlucks in my day to be able to see the difference. LOL.

As an aside, the same could be said, then, of magicians. Too many followers of Christ (and they TEND to come from the same church background) are quick to judge what we do based on a WORD ("magic"). Just as a "fat person" is not always a glutton, a magician isn't always a follower of the devil ;)

I WILL agree, however, that sometimes we do ourselves more harm than good in the personas we take on when we perform.


[quote]
On 2013-05-28 09:52, Danny Kazam wrote:
Just because someone is fat doesn't mean they are a glutton. I mention that because you stated fat people and linked them to one of the seven deadly sins. Just thought iI would correct you by saying being fat is not a sin, nor is it a sign that someone is. :)
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 28, 2013 12:44PM)
Good use of the Scriptures in your analogy, Stephon! I preached a whole series one time on "lukewarm Christianity". One of the interesting things I found is that the word nicely translated as "spew" in the Scriptures is actually more accurately translated as "vomit".

Therefore, if we are lukewarm in our belief, Jesus says, he will vomit us out of his mouth.

Brings the idea to a whole new light, no?


[quote]
On 2013-05-28 12:42, Stephon Johnson wrote:
I find that the only "safe" biblical presentation is to use magic to illustrate a "parable". Basically using the scripture as the patter, and letting the effect mesh with the story simply as a visual. With parables, the Holy Spirit will prick the heart and consciences of those He draws to Himself, and the others will hear a nice story. Exactly the way parables have always been used.
If I am going to present something evangelistic in nature, I would do that as an open air performance and hand out tracts afterward. A good street witnessing trick is to make up 3D cash or Extreme burn to finish up with Million Dollar Bill tracts and give them away. PM me if interested in the patter for that.
I would either do as Mike mentioned and stick to "good family show" or just outline in your sales flyer what doctrines you will represent in your show (Trinity, Salvation by Grace Alone, Predestination etc...). What I could NOT live with, is doing a "watered down" fuzzy gospel show that doesn't present clear Theology and Doctrine, but just a "God loves You" universalism theme. Go True to your beliefs or go "non gospel", Hot or Cold. If it is "lukewarm" I will spew it out of my routine. Blessings!
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (May 28, 2013 01:24PM)
Daff, I used to be one of those people!! I knew about tricks with cards and coins -- but that table thingy and how he knew what they were thinking .... Needless to say, I felt very, very ~stupid!~ when I came across an Abbott's catalog one day!!

To "reveal" your inclinations towards this "hobby", I'd suggest requesting a private audience with the pastor. Be prepared to both floor him and then show him, and then explain how nothing else is more magical than that. If you have his support, you can then refer any nay-sayers to him and let him back you up.

You say you feel God led you to this church. If so, then He will open doors for you - and close others. Bottom line, though, is that He is always good towards you (Romans 8:28). Some of the people you have to sit next to -- well, that may be a different story! (For that, I use Matt 18:15-17 and related verses.) But it also says that He puts us where He wants us. It might not always be the place _I_ would choose to put me. But then I have to ask myself two questions: (A) Who knows better - me or Him?, and (B) Who is Lord - me or Him?

I have turned down churches for the simple reason that I don't want to dance between the land mines. I have certain definite beliefs, and I can't see going into some place that I *know* believes completely different on some major issues - one or the other of us is just going to be waiting for the "Kaboom!" Having a performer and a pastor/priest/elder/etc holding their breath through an entire show is not good!

And then again, given the testimony of others, that seems to simply be how God is leading me right now. Next year might be different. And that's the great thing about all of this. It's a relationship, not conformance to a set of regulations. All four of my kids had different interests, but they were all my children and I supported them equally. I would expect no less from your Heavenly Father. It's all journey as long as we're down here, and there are changes of direction - up, down, and sideways - that we are expected to follow with trust and joy. Remember - Jesus said "easy yoke" and "light burden". If it starts getting heavy, there might be something wrong!

Ed
Message: Posted by: Stephon Johnson (May 28, 2013 01:56PM)
2 Tim 3:12: Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (NKJVS)

Presenting the Gospel as entertainment is almost an oxymoron. The Gospel is, by nature, offensive and hated by the unsaved. And just looking to God for direction and open doors does NOT mean smooth sailing. Stephen was speaking precisely what God desired him to say, and He was martyred for it.
It has already been said to decide if you are doing business or ministry. Business necessitates that you provide what the customer pays for. Ministry means you speak the truth in and out of season, looking only to please and glorify the Master!
Thought provoking for sure! BLESSINGS!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 28, 2013 06:00PM)
Ed, when you said " To "reveal" your inclinations towards this "hobby", I'd suggest requesting a private audience with the pastor. Be prepared to both floor him and then show him, and then explain how nothing else is more magical than that. If you have his support, you can then refer any nay-sayers to him and let him back you up. "
did you mean show him a magic effect in private, and then show him the secret so he can clearly see that no supernatural means are employed?
Message: Posted by: DougTait (May 28, 2013 09:37PM)
Daffy;
Wow! Like Sam Sandler, I am taken aback at your experiences with churches condeming you for practicing magic etc. I am 67 years old, have lived in 8 different states and three countries, have been a member of Congregational, Baptist, Brethren in Christ, Menonite, Methodist and Non-denominational churches and have never had a single person remark that magic was evil or of satan.

I had one individual that I worked with who was a Pentacostal remark that I shouldn't be doing "that stuff". After a Matthew 12 discussion about a house divided, satan casting out satan etc, he had no response, but still mantained magic was of the devil. I shook the dust off my feet and avoided the subject from then on as did he.

That said, I have no common ground with which to offer any advice or comment on how to proceed but wish you success in the future.

Doug
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (May 29, 2013 12:00AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-28 19:00, daffydoug wrote:
Ed, when you said " To "reveal" your inclinations towards this "hobby", I'd suggest requesting a private audience with the pastor. Be prepared to both floor him and then show him, and then explain how nothing else is more magical than that. If you have his support, you can then refer any nay-sayers to him and let him back you up. "
did you mean show him a magic effect in private, and then show him the secret so he can clearly see that no supernatural means are employed?
[/quote]

Yes, that's my thoughts. For a couple of reasons.
-- As your pastor, he is responsible before God for the "care and feeding" of the flock he is shepherding. He needs to know what the "sheep" are eating, and if he's never had to face this before then he needs to be reassured that it is on the level and not "satanic".
-- Should some "fuddy" arise, then hopefully the pastor will rise in the authority of his office and the knowledge of the truth (which you have provided him) and defend you.
-- I have to make the assumption that this pastor feels the call and annointing to stand in his office and minister in the Spirit. If so, then a part of that annointing and office is a measure of wisdom and insight that God will give His annointed leaders. You need that.
-- Lastly, the Kingdom of God was not meant to be a disconnected group of people sitting next to each other every Sunday like rocks in a box. Rather, the Kingdom - and the churches that express it - are meant to be relational. "Iron sharpening iron", the "three-fold cord", and parts of the samd body come to mind. One aspect of this is opening your heart and making yourself vulnerable to someone you trust, so they can give their strength into the weak and wounded areas of your heart.

Sorry for the long post.
More like 4 1/2 cents!!
Ed
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 29, 2013 06:50AM)
  Posted: May 29, 2013 7:35am                          
Ed, 

Funny you should mention it. Because actually, I had toyed with that idea in my mind many times. I have imagined his face when he sees how simple it is, and learns how EASILY he was decieved. Or more accurately, when he sees how easily the human mind is deceived. 

That is of course, if he allows me to get through the effect in it's entirety without laying hands on me and casting the devil out. (Or throwing me out of his office) 

Doug...Doug envies you. You have had a very blessed life in that you haven't encountered the kind of people I have. I can't say that I have been so blessed. The anecdotes I've shared are real. And they are only the tip of the iceburg. I have had many more of these encounters. You haven't lived until you have pulled a coin or a sponge ball out of a child's ear and someone accuses you of being a witch doctor or even Satan himself. Or you haven't had the fun of doing professor's nightmare or a colorful balloon trick and they are ready to burn you at the stake or chase you through the streets like Frankenstein's monster. 

I could SEE if I had the appearance of Max Maven. But I've always come across as sweet, smiling, loveable Dougie. I'm just me. 

I've even been in churches who believe God doesn't approve the use of puppets or ventriloquism for ministry. 


I wish you could walk a mile in my shoes. 

Or rather, I would have preferred to walk many miles in YOUR shoes. becsuse you've had it easy. 
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 29, 2013 07:44AM)
Daffy Doug:

Based on my own personal experience with some of these folks, I would tend to guess that MOST of them come from one particular "brand" of Christianity. I would simply avoid them. They will NEVER change their minds about magic. Long story short, they are simply ignorant, they operate out of ignorance, and they take what the Pastor says and make it true without EVER checking it out for themselves.

In my opinion, these types are to be avoided, not coddled. All they do is end up dragging you down the path of weirdness.
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (May 29, 2013 08:03AM)
The more I read this thread the more I am concerned with the churches and people you are hanging with.

they all seem to lack common sense.

first off if you tell you pastor your a magician and want to show him a trick and he some how believes you have satanic power (which by the way is impossible to have) then I would run RUN real fast and get out of that church. you need to get into a solid bible believing church that deals with reality.

I am sorry if I am coming off a bit harsh but seriously I am wigg'n out here from your stories.

in 25 years over 10,000 shows I have never heard such craziness! yes I know it exist and there are people out there that wonder how its done and are closed minded but some how you have met them all!! yes I have had one or two in my time question if I have supernatural powers.

thousands of churches use puppets and clowning and magic tricks as part of their regular routine in there kids ministries.

I will be presenting my full magic and illusion show this Sunday MORNING for a church in souderton Pa. that's right sunday morning service and they are having me perform in lieu of their regular service. and I am performing several Psychic effects too!! but I am always clear what I do is a trick what God does is for real!

again all I can say is that I am concerned with the people you are hanging with!!


I would also like to back up and restate some thing I said in my original post -- you need to get on your hands and knees and seek God and find out what He wants you doing. then trust Him to lead you to the right people to help and support you.

with out the Holy Spirits leading you will never find the right path.

praying for you - praying for wisdom and praying that the Lord will speak to you and praying to the Holy Spirit that He will guide your every step.

sam
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 29, 2013 08:04AM)
Mike, when you said "brand" that truly made my mind spin trying to figure out what it meant. It's still spinning!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 29, 2013 08:25AM)
Sam, 

You said " first off if you tell you pastor your a magician and want to show him a trick and he some how believes you have satanic power (which by the way is impossible to have) then I would run RUN real fast and get out of that church. you need to get into a solid bible believing church that deals with reality."

Sam, that is exactly and precisely what I did! I got out of that church lickety split! Mind you I had served in that particular church for years. (In the music and drama ministries and more) Then when I found the courage to mention that I performed magic and I had a desire to use it as a ministry in the church the pastor wigged out. He demonstrated total intransigence in his view that magic (as I define it) was related to the devil and witch doctors, etc. I tried to reframe it as illusions, but he was simply not buying it. Any ministry in the church had to go past him, and he was not about to. have it in his church. Period. We're talking total close mindedness, here. We're talking a hermetically sealed mind.

It so disgusted me and so frustrated me that I absquatulated from that church. Yup. I slapped it in "B" for boogie, and I never looked back.

But this incident, this demonstration of close minded ignorance gone to seed turned me off from all churches. (Because it was the crowning event of years of experiencing similar attitudes in Christians everywhere I went. To put it simply, I was FED UP. 

Not to say I DIDN'T pray and seek the Lord on this numerous times since that day. Through all my prayer, I concluded that God didn't want me to be part of any organised religious organization. 

And that's the way it has been for the past several years.

Until a few weeks ago when (I believe) that God directly lead me to this church where I am now attending.

So I was obedient to the call.

Now, I have yet to see how they react when they find out who I am and what I do. 

I'm almost gun shy to mention it. I'm going to let God bring it out in His timing.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 29, 2013 09:29AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-29 09:25, daffydoug wrote:
...Not to say I DIDN'T pray and seek the Lord on this numerous times since that day. [b]Through all my prayer, I concluded that God didn't want me to be part of any organised religious organization.[/b] 

And that's the way it has been for the past several years.
[/quote]

Precisely! I also concluded that. My last membership was in Bangor, and it was a small, non-denominal congregation. I participated enthusiastically, but the day I showed a magic trick (Coins Across), I became unwelcome. The pastor became a TOTAL ass! I was rattled by that for months! All these people "pretending" to be my friend...BAM! Got the evil eye from them after that.

I don't hang out with people. I'm alone 95% of the time. I like it that way. It's me and my Bible. That's all I need...

Doug
Message: Posted by: Craig Logan (May 29, 2013 10:31AM)
This mentality of "evil magic" is troublesome, and though I have not experienced this first hand, I have met some that frown upon card tricks because a deck of cards is considered "The appearance of evil." I can only sigh and respect their doctrine. I am reminded 1 Cor. 8 when Paul talks about eating meat sacrificed to idols. Even if their doctrine is of, we must remember "But if any man love God, the same is known of him."

Also, for those opposed to organized religion, I would simply offer the challenge of Hebrews 10:25 in "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

We aren't supposed to live for Christ alone. We need each other. We need fellowship.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 29, 2013 11:10AM)
Wow! Doug, Doug here can sure relate!

So praise God, I'm not alone in this rejection syndrome!

 I remember the time I was attending a (here un-named) church, and they had a "family night" 

They said anyone was welcome to get up in front of the church and do whatever they felt like (sing, a skit, poem, or whatever your talent was.)

So I figured this was my time to show them something wholesome to give the art of magic a good name..

I didn't want ANYTHING that could be construed as " Evil" or "Occult" 

No burning black candles and such.  


(Just kiddin' on that part!)

Basically I wanted something that would bring smiles and laughter and be good, wholesome family entertainment.
So I settled on my sponge ball routine. I loaded my pockets with the little round, red rascals and got up my nerve and stepped up in front of the church.

I was probably a minute into the routine, and the first sponge traveled from my hand to a spectator's closed fist, and WHAM!!
The pastor's eyes got real big, (I think his face turned as red as the sponges) and his countenance  took on this indescribable look of, well, I can't describe it. Perhaps it was suppressed anger? Anger mixed with abject fear and even horror?
Whatever emotion was playing across his face,  it was definitely  not pretty. He appeared as a man touched with a cattle prod!

The MOMENT I saw that look, I thought "Oh no! Not again!"

He abruptly ejaculated a gruff, impatient, rude "That's enough!!"

And made me sit down way before my routine was even started!

Geeeeeeeeshhh! It was just a bloomin' nerf ball! And he was scared????

Christians in the early days of Christianity were not even afraid of hungry lions, yet in  this century a simple red  sponge ball strikes fear into the heart.?? What's wrong with this picture?

Such ignorance my spirit could not bear!

That may have been the turning point for me.
 
 

I think there may have been one other church after that (The one where I actually dared to ask the pastor first and was excoriated for my boldness,  but beyond that, I have been turned off from churches for years.

This current church where I'm attending is definitely my last hope. If they codemn me, I'm unequivocaly FINISHED with the church scene for life. I'll just give up in disgust and leave them to stew in their ignorance. I'll wash my hands of them.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 29, 2013 11:20AM)
Daffy Doug and Regular Doug:

I would also exhort you to not give up on organized religion just because of some ignorant jerks spewing the hatred they claim they DON'T have.

I would exhort you with the force of Scripture: Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

NIV: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

These are not simply suggestions...they are exhortations from the Apostle to the Gentiles. We ARE TO ATTEND CHURCH. Period.

Yes, dealing with humans can be a pain in the butt. We are sinful, we are flawed...but we are still God's chosen.

Find a church that has been around since the time of the Apostles...one whose teaching doesn't change with the winds of fads and fancies. There, you may find a home.

Be blessed, and above all, DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 29, 2013 11:34AM)
What I've yet to determine: Is it hatred? Or fear? Or ignorance? Or even an unholy trinity consisting of all three? 
Message: Posted by: Stephon Johnson (May 29, 2013 12:16PM)
I whole heartedly agree with Mike. The scripture is clear that we are to assemble in fellowship and worship as the corporate body and bride of Christ. Wonky churches are everywhere! I personally have a list of 25 questions that I email to area pastors when looking for a new church home. If I get no reply at all, I mark them off my list. If I get answers that show our essential doctrinal beliefs are not compatible, I mark them off. Pastors who genuinely love and care will appreciate your commitment to find a solid church with solid teaching. Those who respond positively, I arrange to meet and buy lunch or coffee and talk further. ONLY THEN do I decide to visit or attend a service.
I learned my lesson over several bad experiences where I had already formed deep friendships by the time I discovered issues with doctrine and theology I could not align with. Make up your own list of "essentials" and try it. You will find a good home! And BEGIN with prayer and ask God to use your effort to find the right place.
BLESSINGS!
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (May 29, 2013 02:33PM)
There are many churches that have a wonderful view of Gospel magic- I know because I was with John deVries way back in the 70ties- and most of his programs were in churches. Ditto currently for MagicBob and SuZie in the Midwest. I myself am a member of a wonderful Wesleyan Church in Kalamazoo, they even put in their church newsletter our regular FCM meetings, or any time and location we have a Gospel magic outreach event planned (the next one being the second Saturday in September), etc.. So I personally have been blessed in never being asked by a church host to not do any Gospel "magic."
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 29, 2013 02:59PM)
Man, that sounds like a wondetful position to be in. Must be sweet.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 29, 2013 03:59PM)
Seems to me Doug, since you have had such consistent trouble in this area, that you might want to re-consider the TYPES of churches you are looking at...if you really examine it, you might find that--although they might be different denomination--they probably all have the same theological philosophy: Heavy on the emotion, light on solid biblical teaching.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 29, 2013 08:15PM)
Actually, the church where I'm at currently is heavy on both. (Emotion AND solid Biblical teaching and preaching) . But as I said, the litmus test will be when they discover my magical propensities.

For me, that is where the ol' rubber meets the road.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 29, 2013 09:52PM)
If, as you say, they are solid on biblical teaching, then they should have absolutely NO problem with you performing magic. They would recognize that it is simply an entertainment form.

If they freak out, then they simply are ignorant of what the Bible is speaking of when using the word "magic". Two TOTALLY different subjects.
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (May 30, 2013 03:29AM)
Often it's a case of how we phrase what we do

I offer to do the children's bit (before they leave to go to Sunday School - if there is one that day) and the Sermon time. That way the Minister can still have a regular service AND provide a reflection on what I've done (but none have needed to the latter.)

I always meet with the Minister before hand to make sure I'm clear on what I can do and where I'm doing it. Often this is governed more by the age of the congregation and the particular they want me to link to. So far this year - Creation, Noah, Samson, Easter, Pentecoste, Jesus is the Way (theme of FCM 2012),parable of the Lost Sheep, Celebration and Trust.

So I'm not providinga full magic show INSTEAD of their regular Service - I'm slotting into their set-up.

If they want a full magic show then I'll do this on another day.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 30, 2013 05:25AM)
Mike, now that we're on the subject, and you said "If they freak out, then they simply are ignorant of what the Bible is speaking of when using the word "magic". Two TOTALLY different subjects."

...I can't find the word "MAGIC" in my Bible, (KJV). I used an electronic concordance, and I didn't find it once. And "magician" as a word is only mentioned maybe a couple times at best, no?

Hmmmmm. Maybe I'm onto something here.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 30, 2013 07:28AM)
They will link what you do to all sorts of misinterpretations of Scripture. I will do a little research when I get home tonight...AFTER I rehearse for tomorrow night's show at St. Anne Catholic Church! ;)
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 30, 2013 09:26AM)
While some church's may not condone magic, there are some churches that are highly superstitious and harbour religious relics claiming they have some kind of power. Most of those relics are fake, others are just morbid.

My point is real simple. Those who oppose magic because they believe it's demonic just need a loving brother or sister in the Lord to ease their concerns. Some Christians don't condone magic because they believe it's deceitful, and they are right. It is deceitful. They also have a right to refuse anything they deem to not be wholesome and pure, even if we choose to be ignorant towards them for it.

No where in the bible does it say magic is okay, nor does it even directly address entertaining the church. We have to use our discretion, and not be the reason why our brother's and sister's fall, lest we be willing to carry their blood on our hands.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 30, 2013 09:28AM)
I think one of the most embarrassing situations was in 1978, at West Peru (Maine) Baptist Church. I was invited to do a Magic Show for the kids downstairs, while the parents were upstairs attending an evening service. There were about thirty kids. They had such a good time, and were making so much noise, the Pastor came down after the service, smiling, and was very pleased.

He asked me if I'd come upstairs and do a litte for the adults. I had my Zombie with me. BIG mistake! I was 23 at the time. I really never thought anything of it. Boy...did I get chastised! I had floated the ball for just a few minutes, and I heard a lady whispering loudly, "He's OF THE DEVIL!" Then she panicked. She started speaking in tongues, and acting retarded. Then she came at me. "Begone, SATAN!" Then the pastor pulled me aside.

I was RATTLED! I got "the lecture" from him. Total BS! Absolute CULT-like behavior! I was so disgusted, I quit church, abandoned my faith, and gave up magic for a while. I was LIVID! All this religion, and NO love! Just judgement, hassle and embarrassment.

Today, I cannot be involved in any Christian church. I'm on the Medical Marijuana program for my glaucoma. I started too late, I'm blind in my right eye now. I have two doctors who tell me this works. Churches condemn me for it. Even though there is NOTHING in The Bible that directly addresses it. Just hypocrites who drink, slamming me for doing something that used to be illegal. I am 100% legal now. Still, I get, "Oh God help us, he's ON THE POT!"

Half my family won't speak to me. They're staunch Catholics. "Oh, he's ON THE POT...he's lost forever!" What a bunch of crap. Yeah. It would be nice to find a congregation that will accept the things I do. I don't drink at all. I'm single/never married. I have to do five drops (under the tongue) of Cannabis Tincture every three hours. Every day. Without fail. It is not psychoactive. Doesn't get me stoned. Lowers my ocular pressure phenomenally, though. I do smoke on occasion though.

That said, I have a lot going against me. However, as far as I'm concerned, I'm done with churches. I think God approves. I've prayed about this constantly. To each his own. If church works for you, God Bless ya! It does NOT work for me. Most social situations don't work for me any more. It's amazing I still do magic for people at all...

The Other Doug That's Daffy.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (May 30, 2013 10:39AM)
I have in my basement the paperback book by popular author Philip Yancey entitled: "Church: Why Bother? My Personal Pilgrimage" It is available still in ebook form for $6.44 from http://www.cbd.com Addresses some of these similar problems while author Yancey struggled to find a church.

My wife Maggie and I searched around for a church for almost two years- before we found the one that we felt was Biblically based and offered both of us lots of opportunities for meaningful service. The church we are in turned out to be so much more- I now meet every Saturday morning for breakfast in an informal men's group from Lighthouse- just a wonderful weekly personal encouragement to me. I wouldn't trade these new friends for the world. We are involved in all kinds of stuff now including being in outreach events that use my "talent" from time to time. So good churches can be found for sure- although I will admit we did have to go to at least 5 before we found the right "fit." All of them were fine, but we wanted a church we could both grow in and be a meaningful part of.

As I said above, I really love the church we are members of (Lighthouse Community Church in Kalamazoo http://www.DiscoverLighthouseChurch.com)- and I love our pastor Mark Swank (he has been of several of our Gospel magic shows posted at http://www.ChristianMagician.org- he even did some simple tricks like the "coloring book.").

Personally, and again, this is just my own personal tastes for when I am not in church, I really enjoy right now the preaching ministry of James MacDonald in Chicago (he used to be the youth pastor at my brother's church)- http://www.JamesMacDonald.com Very down to earth- I am currently listening to his "Authentic" series on 6 CDs- which covers the basic disciplines of the Christian life: Bible reading, prayer, not being a hypocrite, service, etc.. This is also out in paperback published in 2013 and is entitled "Authentic" (has a pair of blue jeans on the cover) and is available through most Christian books stores. His church, Harvest Bible Chapel, is on a bunch of campuses with thousands of attenders- which is very different from Lighthouse which is on just one "campus" and meets in a very functional, non-church like building (our main auditorium is also a gym). See the website for Harvest Bible Chapel, I have been encouraging my adult children to check it out as they both live downtown Chicago and Harvest recently opened its downtown "Chicago Cathedral."

So hang in there Doug, don't give up the search (and I sincerely mean that), there IS a church for you out there, whether it be very small or a mega church, with a pastor and congregation that can minister to your needs. Don't settle for opting out because of bad experiences in the past that do in fact take much time to finally get over (sometimes years). Been there myself, I thought 5 years ago I was a wandering non-church goer who'd never find a "church home" again where the pastor even knew who I was.

Psalm 67 to you magical brother, I hope I can meet you someday!
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 30, 2013 10:52AM)
Perhaps you didn't mean it this way, but I will take this comment as a direct slam against the Catholic Church and it's use of relics. I will also say that if this is what you believe, then you simply do not understand what Catholics teach about relics...nor what the Scriptures teach about them.


[quote]
On 2013-05-30 10:26, Danny Kazam wrote:
While some church's may not condone magic, there are some churches that are highly superstitious and harbour religious relics claiming they have some kind of power. Most of those relics are fake, others are just morbid.

[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 30, 2013 11:37AM)
Gosh, golly gee. I won't get into detail, but it was not a direct attack on the Catholic Chuch. The Catholic Church is not the only church that is in possesion of relics that supposively contain some type of supernatural powers.

It is also very correct to say that many of them are fake. For example, the bones of Mary Madeline. There are so many bones out there claiming to be her bones that the amount of bones out there make up 5 skeletons.

Some protestant Churches claim to have for example, and even sell viles of water they claim can heal diseases.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 30, 2013 01:18PM)
VLAD:

Thank you...you got to the post before I could!

You back in the Netherlands yet?

In Jesus Maestro!
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 30, 2013 01:31PM)
Danny:

Here's what SCRIPTURE has to say about relics...what say YOU?

What Does Scripture Say About Relics?

(1) The starting point for an examination of Scripture on this point should be Acts 19:11-12:
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.
That's what Catholics believe about relics, nothing more, nothing less. Look at the elements:

The objects in question are “handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him,” what Catholics would call Paul's relics.
These relics are producing miraculous healings, without Paul doing anything.
These healings are still a way that God performed “extraordinary miracles through Paul.”
These are actual miracles, not simply some placebo effect.
So the first thing we can say is that what Catholics believe about relics seems very much to be how Scripture describes relics. There are people healed because they got to touch a relic of St. Paul's. But why does God do this? I think that there's a hint in the fact that these are counted as “extraordinary miracles through Paul.” It's a sign of God's favor on a particular Saint. One of the ways we determine if a given person is in Heaven is if God performs miracles when we pray to that person. If He does, it seems to confirm that His favor is upon them, just as the Resurrection showed that the Father's favor was upon Jesus Christ. Finally, though, the fact that Paul doesn't actually do the miracle -- God does -- shows that while the Saints are honored and blessed by God, He's still the one in the driver's seat. The Saints lead us to God, and always refused any attempt to be made into gods themselves (see Acts 14:11-15).

(2) But these miraculous relics weren't limited to Paul. In Acts 5:12-16, we hear
The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
Again, we see the same thing: a relic of the Saints (here, the mere shadow of Peter) brings about innumerable blessings, miracles, and healings.And the reason is for the same reason that the Apostles were performing “signs and wonders among the people.” It showed that these men come from God, and that their message is true.

(3) We see this in the life of Christ Himself. Mark 5:25-34:
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
This is a very different miracle from the ones we're used to. Here, simply touching the clothing of Christ heals this woman, before He's even aware that she's there. Mark actually makes a point of including the fact that He felt the power go out from Him, but still asked who it was who had touched Him. And Jesus ascribes the healing to the woman's faith, although it's clear that His own power is the operative power of healing. She's got the faith to believe that simply to touch something worn by Christ is sufficient to be healed. Some Protestants consider that superstition, but our Lord apparently does not.

(4) Go back to the Old Testament, to Elisha. 2 Kings 13:20-21 says,
Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet.
This passage is important, because it shows that the Saint isn't actively performing these, in the way that other miracles are performed. Even after Elisha's dead, God works through him. That's the reason relics work, at the end of the day: because God wills to use all sorts of things to bring about healing and salvation. But He doesn't choose randomly - in every case, it's either been His Son or the Saints who He works through.

(5) Finally, we know that the early Church used relics, as well. That is, just as Elisha's bones show that healing relics pre-date the New Testament, the early Church shows that they continue on after the New Testament. Let's take just a couple example. First, through Eusebius (c. 263-339 A.D.) and Caius (early 200s), we know that the early Church kept the “trophies” of St. Peter and St. Paul in the Vatican.

St. Augustine, beloved by Catholics and Protestants alike, said that in Book XXII, Chapter 8 of City of God that:
For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by His sacraments or by the prayers or relics of His saints; but they are not so brilliant and conspicuous as to cause them to be published with such glory as accompanied the former miracles.
That's pretty clear. Likewise, St. Ambrose of Milan, writing in the latter half of the fourth century, wrote:
For after I had dedicated the basilica, many, as it were, with one mouth began to address me, and said: Consecrate this as you did the Roman basilica. And I answered: "Certainly I will if I find any relics of martyrs." And at once a kind of prophetic ardour seemed to enter my heart.

Why should I use many words? God favoured us, for even the clergy were afraid who were bidden to clear away the earth from the spot before the chancel screen of SS. Felix and Nabor. I found the fitting signs, and on bringing in some on whom hands were to be laid, the power of the holy martyrs became so manifest, that even whilst I was still silent, one was seized and thrown prostrate at the holy burial-place.
The first paragraph refers to a Catholic practice - in consecrating a Church, we embed the relics of a Saint. As you can see, this custom is not new. A little later, in the same letter, Ambrose writes:
On the following day we translated the relics to the basilica called Ambrosian. During the translation a blind man was healed [...] They [the Arians] deny that the blind man received sight, but he denies not that he is healed. He says: I who could not see now see. He says: I ceased to be blind, and proves it by the fact.
So relics were widely used, venerated (there are folks falling prostrate!), and are bringing about miraculous cures. What we see is that from the Old Testament, down through the New, through the times of the early Church, all the way to the present, the same central things have been believed about relics. Catholics simply conform with this Scriptural belief. It's not idolatry or superstition. It's good old-fashioned Bible religion.
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 30, 2013 01:50PM)
Oh boy. :(

I will show my respect by not engaging in this ridiculous and inappropriate argument. I stand by my comments, and do not wish to drag the Catholic Church through the mud to prove that my previous statement is factual and valid. History speaks for itself, and many relics have been proven to be fake, not just in the Catholic Church, but in many other churches as well.

Not sure if Vlad deleted his post or someone else did, but it was a wise move.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 30, 2013 02:27PM)
Typical.
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 30, 2013 02:59PM)
I love relics. My mediaeval faire act has a few effects built around the selling of them. A popular pastime in the middle ages. They were the first "tourist Attractions". The great Cathedrals fighting over the choicest ones to attract the maximum number of pilgrims to their sanctuaries. There are many wonderful historical accounts of raiding parties stealing Saints bones from one church so they could be installed in another.
Sure, all of them were fake. But it's all about belief and faith and that all important connection to the past. It is yet another tie to the older pagan belief systems that the Catholic church absorbed as it spread through the crumbling Roman Empire.
But there is (like most things) biblical support for the veneration of the saints and the collection of relics. A particularly good article can be found here http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2004/02/biblical-evidence-for-relics-its.html
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 30, 2013 03:28PM)
Exactly. And the reason I typically did not want to argue with Mike. My post had nothing to do with biblical support for the veneration of the saints and the collection of relics. Nor was I directly just referring to the Catholic Church.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (May 30, 2013 04:26PM)
As my grandfather used to say to me, "If you're not Dutch, you're not much." I mention this due to the "old country" Netherlands comment above to Vlad. I think "Bus" means "pocket" in Dutch, there are lots of Buses in the Netherlands still. My grandfather was a shoe cobbler and his shop was located about a mile from my current office. I hope I visit there someday, but I have a wonderful Dutch bankery (Boonzaayer's in Kalamazoo) just a block from my office.

Ancient above ground tombs near Jerusalem were "white washed" (e.g. cleaned up of all the grime that had caked on them during the previous year) before Passover- so the City "gleamed" when looked at from afar. Jesus used this common scene as one of his harshest and sobering criticism of hypocrisy- that we are not to be "whitewashed tombs" that look good on the outside, but actually filled in the inside (our hearts) with moral rott like decaying dead man's bones. Ouch. Matthew 23: 27-28.

I do not believe the Bible says whatever the reader wants it to say- unless it is twisted and contorted, taken out of context, or obviously read in a way the Author does not obviously mean it to say.

Psalm 19:8b: "The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes." As James MacDonald puts it, the intent of the word "pure" is the same as using the word "clear"- God's Word is not cloudy or uncertain, it is "transparently obvious." It is not a puzzle to be solved, it can be understood, it "yields its message to the normal, attentive person." So one on his/her own can pick up a Bible, read it, and understand it.
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 30, 2013 04:32PM)
I wish the Café had a "Like" Button. :)
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 30, 2013 05:14PM)
My deepest apologies. It has been pointed out to me via PM that I failed to cite my source for the article I posted regarding relics in the Catholic Church. So, to make amends, here it is:


http://catholicdefense.blogspot.ca/2011/05/what-scripture-says-about-using-relics.html

Now...that does not CHANGE the fact that the Bible supports the idea of relics and their use as an instrument for God's miraculous power.

No, Danny, you didn't directly mention the Catholic Church in your post, but based on our past history in discussing various churches, I knew what you meant.

Let's take the Catholic Church out of it for the sake of discussion. You are a "Scripture Alone" kinda guy, as I recall. Based on the article I cut and pasted (there...I said it), the Bible supports the phenomenon of God's use of relics, inanimate objects, shadows, etc as a channel of God's power. You simply CANNOT argue that point (unless, of course, you want to admit that the Scripture is wrong...).

So based on that, how do you support you criticism in your first posting (cut and pasted <shudder> below)?:

"While some church's may not condone magic, there are some churches that are highly superstitious and harbour religious relics claiming they have some kind of power. Most of those relics are fake, others are just morbid. " ---Danny Kazam

This, it seems to me, is likening the practice of churches that venerate relics to morbidity and superstition. Will you say that also of the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, not to mention the ancient Jews?

What say you, Brother?
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 30, 2013 05:26PM)
I say... peace be with you. I was kind enough to Pm you about not posting a link to the source of your post, and I will be kind enough to allow you bring up our past encounters without debate, but I will also tell you for the last time that I still wish to refrain from having this fruitless debate with you. It does nothing to edify our Lord, but appears to just continue to feed the contentment in your heart. This thread isn't about our differences, nor should it be used as such. Say what you will, but I see no good in continuing this.

I wish you no ill feelings, and will continue to show you the same respect I have always.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 30, 2013 05:37PM)
I agree Danny. We should stop this nonsense.

..

My FCM membership will not be renewed when it expires.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (May 30, 2013 06:40PM)
If I was a Board member of the FCM (which I am not), I guess would say on their behalf that the above discussion has nothing to do with the FCM. Yikes, please don't resign an entire organization based on non-official postings on The Magic Café'- unless you just don't like the FCM- then I understand that.

Another longwinded sidebar: I know a few magicians who are IBMers (or SAMers which I also am a member of) who really have ticked off some fellow magicians, but they in turn did not leave the IBM.

One of my personal pet problems for years (as just one example) is I know some excellent magicians who always seem to brag how much they enjoyed FFFF, what great magic they saw there, or how wonderful all the performers were there having a hooting good time... OR to read the huge color articles in The Linking Ring about the FFFF (which I assume is not a non-profit organization)... BUT THEN I am treated like I have the flu when I point out FFFF is by invitation only and is NOT open to the magic public including to all IBM members.

I find the extensive magazine coverage of FFFF is like reading about what the "haves" enjoy in a purposely limited country club setting that us normal, uninvited magic hobbyists will never have the honor to attend (or even watch). So as long as we keep buying the products that are produced by these very same folks/lecturers, we are golden.

The above being said, I can't imagine lawyers or teachers or pretty much any other profession holding openly covered conferences but then limiting attendance only to elite lawyers that the organizers invite in. Attorneys would never stand for that. My view is FFFF is fine if it stays to itself (we are a free country after all), but it's just as a matter of principle to me that I don't want to read about FFFF comings and going in "my" IBM Linking Ring magazine. Let them get their own magazine and charge their own private dues for that. But will I quit the IBM over this petty gripe?- nope- too many friends in the IBM- including in Ring 211 (which has a FISM Grand Prix winner as a Ring member who obviously also performs at FFFF). I should be there right now at the Carl Andrews restaurant magic lecture tonight but I elected to save the gas and work at the office (and read The Magic Café').

So anyway, the point of all this dribble is I hope no one ever resigns from the FCM based on what is posted here on The Magic Café', particularly since the FCM has nothing really to do with what is said here.

From a grumpy old crust... who hates to see anyone here discouraged or upset. You are all my magical friends for sure, even if you are lucky enough to be invited to the FFFF confabs. :)
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (May 30, 2013 08:31PM)
On another sidebar, I was amazed to read today in "Christianity Today" (June, 2013 issue) on pages 20-25 an economics professor's report that child sponsorship (such as through Compassion International) really is effective to "get under the hood of human beings to instill aspirations, character formation, and spiritual direction. In short, it trains people to be givers instead of receivers." Also a good ad in this Christianity Today for http://www.ResurgenceConference.com with Greg Laurie, Crawford Loritts, James MacDonald and others.

The Christian community is made up of so many great organizations (like those mentioned above- just two of a zillion more)- the FCM is just part of this incredible ministry mosaic.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (May 31, 2013 03:10AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-30 14:50, Danny Kazam wrote:
Oh boy. :(

I will show my respect by not engaging in this ridiculous and inappropriate argument. I stand by my comments, and do not wish to drag the Catholic Church through the mud to prove that my previous statement is factual and valid. History speaks for itself, and many relics have been proven to be fake, not just in the Catholic Church, but in many other churches as well.

Not sure if Vlad deleted his post or someone else did, but it was a wise move.
[/quote]

Wise move Danny?

If wise move carries some subtext, then by all means talk to me in PM. As brothers in Christ Danny, we should not be going down this road. So, I will merely ask you one question here and now. For centuries Catholics have been accused by SOME other churches of the following falsehoods:

Worshiping Mary
Worshipping the saints
Worshipping relics
Worshipping statues

Given that, can you at least understand how Mike, a Catholic, COULD see your post as a possible attack? I am asking you this Christian to Christian with no hostility whatsoever.

+In Christ,
Vlad

PS: In reading Mike's post, he states clearly that he wasn't certain if it was an attack but it could be construed as one.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 31, 2013 07:41AM)
Thank you, Vlad.

As to MagicBus:

My remark about leaving the FCM has little or nothing to do with the disagreement at hand. However, the discussion DID bring back several other incidents where I was attacked, sometimes directly, for being Catholic...BY FCM MEMBERS.

If the prevailing attitude of many in the FCM is that we Catholics are somehow on a lower shelf in the Christian closet, or perhaps not even Christian at all as at least one has suggested (never mind the Catholic--not necessarily Roman--Church WAS, indeed, the first Christian Church), then I don't want my money supporting them.

I understand theological disagreements...heck I get into them all the time...but they should be handled with grace and class. You, for instance, have carried on a discussion with me privately. It was handled as true brothers in Christ. While we do not necessarily agree, we can discuss it as friends and colleagues...without attack.

I just simply tire of the attacks. A few on here have been pretty vocal about their anti-Catholic beliefs...but at least one has had no problem taking gigs from Catholic organizations. Hypocrisy at its best.

There is an organization out there that is--unfortunately--not very well known or publicized. It was founded by magical great Angelo Stagnero. It is called the Catholic Magicians Guild. I have been a member for quite some time. Perhaps my time would be better spent there.

ON A SIDEBAR, MAGICBUS: Did you guys get hit hard yesterday? National Weather Service a pretty butt-ugly storm that seemed to be camping right over top of K-Zoo. Hope all remained safe.
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 31, 2013 09:10AM)
I respectfully took the time to address that concern with this post I made. I take no responsibility in how someone wishes to interpretate my comments. Nor can I help it if someone choses to make several assumptions because they feel like a victim. Also, it went from Mike making the assumption I was just talking about the Catholic Church to arguing about veneration of relics. Something I never disagreed with.

If anyone should feel like a victim, it should be me. I am the one who is being attacked for stating something that was fact. However, I refuse to play the victim. I am not that sensitive to allow myself be dragged into something as pointless as this. Read my post below. This should of ended the matter, but it didn't. That's not my fault.

Vlad, I appreciate your input, but you I see no point in answering anymore questions about this. I am Fasinated though by your's and Mike's obsession of always trying to be the victims.

[quote]
On 2013-05-30 12:37, Danny Kazam wrote:
Gosh, golly gee. I won't get into detail, but it was not a direct attack on the Catholic Chuch. The Catholic Church is not the only church that is in possesion of relics that supposively contain some type of supernatural powers.

It is also very correct to say that many of them are fake. For example, the bones of Mary Madeline. There are so many bones out there claiming to be her bones that the amount of bones out there make up 5 skeletons.

Some protestant Churches claim to have for example, and even sell viles of water they claim can heal diseases.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 31, 2013 09:51AM)
For not allowing yourself to be dragged into it, you sure do post a lot! ;)

All in good fun, my friend! My tongue is FIRMLY planted in my cheek on this one!

...and I do not feel like a victim. It is apparent from several posts on here that your initial post COULD HAVE been, indeed, interpreted the way I did.

[quote]
On 2013-05-31 10:10, Danny Kazam wrote:


I am not that sensitive to allow myself be dragged into something as pointless as this.

[quote]
On 2013-05-30 12:37, Danny Kazam wrote:
Gosh, golly gee. I won't get into detail, but it was not a direct attack on the Catholic Chuch. The Catholic Church is not the only church that is in possesion of relics that supposively contain some type of supernatural powers.

It is also very correct to say that many of them are fake. For example, the bones of Mary Madeline. There are so many bones out there claiming to be her bones that the amount of bones out there make up 5 skeletons.

Some protestant Churches claim to have for example, and even sell viles of water they claim can heal diseases.
[/quote]
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (May 31, 2013 10:20AM)
Mike, Danny, Vlad -- can we please stop derailing decent threads with doctrinal/historical debates? Whilst y'all are having a hash-out, we have two Dougs and a Payne who are getting that much more evidence for why they don't want anything to do with this. Does it really matter who started it or what was really said? Can someone please be Christain enough to stop and walk away from this thread, and if the discussion must continue to do it elsewhere so the OP can get back to his question?

Daffy, in my experience - and I'm talking my own superstitions here - most Christians are vaguely aware that the devil does have some power. Like the Gadarene demoniac who snapped chains or the demon-possessed boy who was thrown into fire and water. Unfortunately, most Christians also rarely think and study through exactly what demonic manifestations look like.

All this wraps into a big ball of unknown and - to them - unknowable. And to the superstitious, the unknown is to be feared. Like ancient seamen's maps with reasonably accurate coastlines, but huge areas labelled "here be demon" and "here be beast"! No - here be ignorance and fear.

So they hear "magic", which is always (*cough* *cough*) "of the devil", they see someone do something they don't understand, and they don't know really what is devil and what is not. So they default with their fears of the unknown and scream "not of God!"

Pastors and church elders, who see themselves in the position of protecting the flock, are often prone to knee-jerk reactions. Well, they're just people, after all. Fathers (like me) have done the same things when their kids want to do things Dad doesn't understand: the immediate reaction is "I say no to protect you". And there's also the pride of not wanting to admit you are ignorant.

This is why I suggested a private session with the pastor. It gets him away from a "protect the flock" response situation, and lets him get to know and trust you on a personal level. If you bring one of those dollar store packages of tricks and let him see the plastic props with instructions, and then show him how you worked up the skill set to create an entertaining routine with physical manipulations and cleverly constructed bits of plastic, you are educating him that it's nothing more - and nothing less - that the same level of skill he sees in a good musician, painter, dancer, or singer. He can react in private where no one else sees, and he can emerge empowered with new knowledge. (I'm assuming a worst-case scenario here of a proud, ignorant, and superstitious pastor. Honestly, echoing the opinions of most other posters on this thread, I think such a person is rare.)

If he does balk, ask him some questions - not to back him into a corner, but to think. What exactly is he afraid of? That something he doesn't fully understand might be the devil? Does he understand everything about his computer or cell phone? Does he understand everything about how airplanes fly or the water he drinks is purified?

Is he put off by the dark and mysterious personna of many prominent performers? You don't do that. And there's actually more magicians who perform birthday parties as totally non-frightening characters than there are the dark and mysterious guys.

Is he afraid that your magic performances might "open minds and doors" into the occult? If that were true, then the world would be overrun with the occult, given the sheer number of library books, dollar store trick packs, and web sites and videos exposing people to "magic".

Is he just put off by the connotations and perceptions of the label "magic"? Offer some different words - but in the end it's the word that the public uses. "Drug" can be life-saving insulin or heroin.

Above all, I would encourage you not to subject yourself to the brow-beatings of ignorant people. It's back to Matt 18:15-17 - if you are offended, work it out. Personally, I would be greatly offended at the fearful ignorance that some people would use to rob me of great fun. If a spiritual man can open my eyes to a spiritual truth that enlightens me and makes me desire to choose God above magic, then I am richer. But if a proud, fearful, arrogant man refuses to listen to me because he's got a title and I don't, then I do not belong in an unequal yoke like that.

Finally, bathe this thing in honest prayer. Don't cling to your magic - cling to Jesus. Remember that the Kingdom of God is about relationships, with Him and with those He's put us with. And we are to esteem others higher than ourselves. Yes, that needs to apply to them too! But I know that my magic has at times gotten in between me and Him and me and other relationships, and I had to walk away for a while - perhaps for good. But if it meant that I had more of Jesus, then I was willing to throw it all away. And that came from within me - it was not imposed upon me.

Hope this helps. I'll be praying for you.
Ed
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (May 31, 2013 10:25AM)
Will gladly do so. Been trying hard. I will now just ignore, and I mean no disrespect for ignoring further discussion that has nothing to do with the original topic

Thank you.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 31, 2013 10:34AM)
Ed---

DONE.

Thank you for reminding us of the civility with which we--as Christians--ought to conduct ourselves.

Blessings and peace to all.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 31, 2013 08:46PM)
I am gobsmacked...Mike, Ed...you really know your stuff! Man, I've had my Bible out and looked up everything said, and wow. It's amazing. Danny, I don't get the anger. Mike really revealed some stuff to me, I never noticed before. It's like a light went on! Thank you. You got me to open my Bible!

Ed...wow. I don't know what to say. Amazing insight! I've been a Christian since 1977. I was "Catholic" before that. A title, I didn't know what meant. Then it happened. I won't go into it here. It belongs in Science Fiction stories more than theology. So, I found out who Yeshua IS! Not WAS...IS! 'Nuff said. It's so simple...

The part of God who spoke to Adam became one of us! Showed us who God is, and how to treat each other! He said nothing else is as important! [i]How we treat each other![/i] The Ancient Ones say we are "The Insane Asylum Of The Universe". Gee, I wonder how they came to [i]that[/i] conclusion? Ha haa!

Look at us. We can't even have an intelligent conversation without someone taking offense at something! And we all pretty much agree on the basic thing! Mike opened my eyes about relics. It answers questions...eh...best left for other times. Oh, also remember The Ark! Touch that, and ya DONE! Killed ya dead! Relic? Gee, I wonder where it is today. I wouldn't go NEAR it!

I'm not Catholic. I'm not Protestant. I'm not a LABEL! We humans hung that man up like an animal. Treated him with the worst indignity one could! Nauseates me, but it made a way for us to be with The Father again! God wanted us back, and They found a way! You bet He's alive! My gosh...I don't think the mind can conceive what They have planned! Doesn't matter. You already love God with all your heart! However, it is much harder to grasp the idea of your fellow man is YOU!

Doug
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (May 31, 2013 10:24PM)
Dougini,

It's very good to see you getting blessed!

Doug
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Jun 1, 2013 12:34AM)
Yes, glad to hear that Dougini.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-for-encouragement-20-great-scripture-quotes/#ixzz2UwKdZCD2
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jun 1, 2013 08:31AM)
Dougini--

Praise be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit! It is terrific to see you so fired up, Brother!

May that fire keep on a burnin'!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jun 1, 2013 08:49AM)
Long live good ol' Dougini! :)
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jun 2, 2013 10:53AM)
Ahhh, gee. 'T'ain't nuthin', guys. I'm nobody. Thank'y though! :) We gotta focus on how we treat each other, that's all. I figure, if I can put a smile on one person's face today, I've done my job! That was my motto as Radio Disc Jockey. Now, if every person on Earth did that...

How many smiles...? Woo...
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jun 2, 2013 08:26PM)
Smilin' Dougini...Smilin'!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jun 2, 2013 11:50PM)
:)
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (Jun 3, 2013 03:34AM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-31 11:20, Ed_Millis wrote:
Mike, Danny, Vlad -- can we please stop derailing decent threads with doctrinal/historical debates? Whilst y'all are having a hash-out, we have two Dougs and a Payne who are getting that much more evidence for why they don't want anything to do with this. Does it really matter who started it or what was really said? Can someone please be Christain enough to stop and walk away from this thread, and if the discussion must continue to do it elsewhere so the OP can get back to his question?

[/quote]Ed I have to totally agree - this is posted on an OPEN MAGIC forum, which anyone can read

I use my gift of illusion and puppets to bring people to Christ.

Continued arguments like these make that job much harder.

Mike - the FCM is deliberately non- doctrinal. We have a simple three-line declaration of faith. There is NO discussion of this when we meet, we are all Christians interesting in magic. And this also means that I am welcome in a wide variety of Churches around the World.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jun 3, 2013 08:03AM)
Apprentice:

I understand that the FCM OFFICIALLY has a simple statement of faith...and I agree with that (or would never have joined).

In practice, however, I see a much different thing.

99% of the folks I interact with truly show the love of Christ...and I appreciate that. It's that darned 1%, though........;)
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (Jun 3, 2013 09:20AM)
So take it up with them in private then, not on a public forum

all the non-Christian magicians see is Christians bickering among themselves - hardly a way of spreading the "Good News"

this is supposed to be a forum thread for new tricks/routines not doctrinal arguments
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jun 3, 2013 09:24AM)
If you would take the time to read the original poster's question, it was PRECISELY about doctrinal differences.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Jun 3, 2013 11:12AM)
Hi mike - don't know why I'm bothering you except YOU seem to know what your talking about- did you get my last PM? - June 4 is my 76 Birthday and also getting a BONE SCAN for the Big C -mentioned in PM- Fri 7th should get ALL?? results- its nice to be able to talk to a CHRISTIAN when one can. In my last PM it was because seeing that Government is approving imorality-1.Abortion(killing)- 2.Promoting GAYs (marriage etc.) and NOW 3. approving Pill for Girls 12 years old not to get Pregnant. So I wanted to have something in my Gospel Program about GODs
GIFT of SEX for MARRIED (ONLY) Couples-Man and Woman,only. Ralph
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jun 3, 2013 11:28AM)
Ralph: I did get the PM. Sorry I haven't replied yet. I think there are probably a few effects that would do a great job illustrating the gift of sex in marriage. I'm glad you have now posted here publicly as well. Now will have lots of fertile (no pun intended) minds working on it.

It might be a good idea to start a new thread, though...which I will do for you, since I know your computer time is very limited.
Message: Posted by: Rickfcm (Jun 3, 2013 06:40PM)
Mike, its the 1% that proves we are not perfect and for that matter will never be.
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (Jun 4, 2013 05:32AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-03 10:24, Mike Maturen wrote:
If you would take the time to read the original poster's question, it was PRECISELY about doctrinal differences.
[/quote]

which should not be on a public magic site
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jun 4, 2013 07:55AM)
Perhaps not, Apprentice...but it was. We were all simply responding to the question...and it devolved from there. We DO still (at least here in the US) have freedom of speech...at least for a while.
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Jun 4, 2013 02:46PM)
Why should it not be on a public magic site??
Message: Posted by: Danny Kazam (Jun 4, 2013 06:46PM)
In this case it was about one person wanting to debate another person about something that could of been handled through pm's rather than taking over the thread with a fruitless debate that no one benifits from, and leaves one or more participants offended. Neither fruitful, nor rewarding.

I refuse to debate theology on here, but I also need to learn to practice more restraint, and learn to ignore more. Sometimes things can be read into what others post, and despite our best intentions, only esculates into name calling and resentment.

The original post was asking how to avoid theological confrontations amongst different churches when performing for chuches, or something along those lines. My suggestion is to never make assumptions, and when in doubt, ask the Pastor or Priest in a private and respectful way if something maybe not appropriate for the church.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jun 4, 2013 09:00PM)
Exactly, Danny!